What's new in ACSL 2.0?

13 September 2020

We hope that you are well, back at school in some form and thinking about ACSL. With many schools in remote-learning mode, ACSL has embraced a number of changes to support schools that are not physically meeting.

What's the same?

  1. The format of the contests in each division - short problems and a programming problem

  2. The ability to fit the contests into your school schedule and model

  3. The quality content and questions matched to student experience

What has changed?

  1. Registration is now online

  2. All divisions support 3-person teams

  3. The short answer test and programming problem will be administered online with automatic scoring and reporting. There is no need for an advisor to score the shorts, run the programs on the test data, upload scores and files, and so on.

  4. Students can take both tests from home.

  5. The All-Star Contest will be the online ACSL Invitational Finals.

  6. Last year's question set (2019-20 Vol. 42) is available in hardcopy format only, and sent by US mail. All other contest volumes are still available as files delivered by Dropbox.


Registration for 2020-2021 season is now open. Advisors may register their teams using this online form.


15 August 2020

The June 2020 newsletter of the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) featured a "member spotlight" on ACSL's very own, Carlen Blackstone. In the article, she talks about her experience teaching over the past 40 years, some insight she’s gained, and how she’s still involved in computer science. Read all about it.

2019-2020 season review

1 July 2020

ACSL has been challenging students in computer science since 1978 and has evolved a great deal over those years especially in the expansion of the League to international venues, most recently in Korea and China, but the school year 2019-20 was like none other.

Until March, 2020, most schools operated as usual, but the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything as schools immediately converted to on-line learning. We realized that the only way for us to complete the year was to host a completely on-line individual Finals competition. That made it possible to invite students to participate from all 5 Divisions, including both Elementary and Classroom Division participants for the first time.

Students were invited to participate if they had high individual scores on the 4 regular season contests. On Saturday, May 23 we hosted the Finals via YouTube for over 1,000 students in grades 3-12 using the HackerRank platform for the programming problems and Google Forms for the Short Problems part.

Prizes were awarded to nearly 250 students complements of Google. One of our Executive Team members, Carlen Blackstone, who taught computer science at Emmaus HS in Emmaus, PA, invited 29 of her former students to host breakout Zoom meetings about how ACSL has helped them in college and beyond. She was also featured in the July CSTA+ Newsletter.

This endeavor has propelled us into making many new changes for the 2020-21 school year. Please join us in this adventure!